AUBURN -- A Pierce County mom is furious at a new school lunch program that she says cost her 8-year old son a normal meal -- and also humiliated him.
Because he didn't have $2.75 in his account, she said, the cafeteria workers threw it in the trash.
Carol Woolery said she has been dealing with an illness this week and forgot to put more money in her son's lunch account, and he apparently paid for it in humiliation.
"He was bawling because he was embarrassed," said Woolery. "Crying because other kids were making comments to him about it, and embarrassing him even more."
The cafeteria workers did give Woolery's son what is called an emergency meal, consisting of a cheese sandwich and apple. But she calls that pathetic and wants the system changed.
"I think it’s ridiculous," said Woolery. "They need to figure out some other way of handling it."
No one from the Auburn School District was available to talk, but on the district's website is an announcement about a new lunch charging policy. If a student has no money in their account, they can’t have a normal lunch, only the emergency meal.
Other districts are also creating new policies to deal with delinquent lunch bills, but they often spark outrage. Last spring, a Kent father told us his son’s lunch was tossed in the trash because he was short 26 cents.
Woolery said she plans to keep plenty of money in her son's lunch account from here on out. But still wants the policy to change, she said, because it’s the students who end up suffering.
"It’s not fair to them. OK, the parents had an oversight, messed up whatever. Don’t make them get humiliated at school because of this."
carol told us the principal here did apologize.. and said he would talk to the distrits child nutrition deparmtent to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.